Barry Winstanley taught at Doncaster’s Hungerhill School throughout the 1970s, 80s and early 1990s and was instantly recognisable to decades of pupils with his trademark bright red tracksuit, bald head and wisecracking manner.
And pupils and fellow former colleagues have lined up to pay tribute to Mr Winstanley following his death.
Former Hungerhill deputy head Tony Stephenson described as a ‘truly wonderful man’ who will be ‘sorely missed.’
He said: “I met Barry in 1977 and worked alongside him for nearly 25 years and kept in contact with him after our retirements. A truly wonderful man who was always friendly and helpful. He loved teaching and always put the kids first.
"His confidence showed when he moved house, from Rotherham, into the catchment area. My fondest memory was when we completed the coast to coast walk with a group of lads and Mrs. Hunter's husband, Kevin.”
Barry, who adopted a string of nicknames including Baz, Bazza, Basil and Winnie and which were picked up on pupils, was a keen Rotherham United fan and during football lessons, he would often re-enact the famous scene from 1960s Yorkshire movie Kes where a pompous games master, played by Brian Glover, imagines he is Bobby Charlton playing for Manchester United.
He was also known by pupils for his Reliant Robin three wheel car – dubbed the ‘plastic pig’ – and for a wicked sense of humour and playing practical jokes on pupils.
Tony added: “He sold it soon after he had been leap frogged by a loose lorry wheel on the M18. Barry moved to Hungerhill from Wilby Carr in the year the school opened with one year group and was head of PE.
"He eventually became my assistant head of upper school, a role he thoroughly enjoyed.
“Barry met up once a month with several old colleagues, for lunch at The Mayflower in Austerfield and although his health deteriorated, he was brought by one of his old colleagues but soon he was unable to travel, but he still kept in touch with them. He will be sorely missed.”
Friends and former pupils were also among those paying tribute.
Peter Wroot wrote: “R.I.P Basil what a great man,” while Lee Turner wrote: “He was an absolute legend, rest in peace Sir.”
Neil Smith added: “So sad RIP what a fantastic guy.’
Andy Schofield added: “Really great guy. RIP Winnie! You were a great teacher. Others can only wish to aspire to the heights you reached with your teaching... always remembered.”
Mark Crompton added: “He was a legend glad I had the pleasure to meet him.”
Neil Hogarth wrote: “He was definitely a Hungerhill legend .r.i.p sir bless you xxx”
Following his retirement, he would often share a pint with pupils in Edenthorpe pubs The Tired Man, now the Toby Carvery, and the Ridge Wood.
Funeral details will be announced in due course.